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With the slash of a steel blade and the mark of a 'Z', he defends the weak and exploited and avenges the wrongs committed against them

With the slash of a steel blade and the mark of a 'Z', he defends the weak and exploited and avenges the wrongs committed against them.

The Mask of Zorro is a sweeping romantic adventure of love and honor, of tragedy and triumph set against Mexico's fight for independence from the iron fist of Spain. It is also a rousing, often hilarious swashbuckling fable about how a roguish outlaw whose only knowledge of a sword is that "the pointy end goes into the other man" is transformed into an elegant hero.

It has been 20 years since Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) successfully fought Spanish oppression in Alta California as the legendary romantic hero Zorro. Imprisoned for two decades, he now must find a successor to stop Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson)-the powerful, former Spanish governor of Alta California who cost de la Vega his freedom, his wife, Esperanza (Julietta Rosen), and his daughter, Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones)-who is making plans to purchase California from Mexico's president, General Santa Anna. Alejandro Murieta (Antonio Banderas), a bandit with a troubled past, is transformed by Don Diego into a new Zorro who he hopes will help him foil Montero's schemes once and for all. Tracing the heroic story of these highly-charged relationships, The Mask of Zorro follows the new Zorro as he assumes de la Vega's mantle and enters into a romantic relationship with a woman close to his predecessor's heart...

Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stuart Wilson and Matt Letscher star in The Mask of Zorro, story by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Randall Johnson. Screenplay by John Eskow, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio. Executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Walter Parkes, and Laurie MacDonald. It is directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Doug Claybourne and David Foster. The film is a production of Amblin Entertainment/TriStar Pictures.

The character of Zorro has captured the fancy of every generation since his humble beginnings on the pages of a pulp novel in 1919. For over five decades, young and old alike around the world have been infatuated with the brave and gallant swordsman who rights wrongs and defends the weak and oppressed.

The Mask of Zorro is based on the character created by Johnston McCulley, a police reporter who wrote pulp fiction stories on the side. McCulley's Zorro (Spanish for 'fox') was a compilation of England's fictitious Scarlet Pimpernel and notorious real-life figures such as the California outlaw Joaquin Murieta, who fought gold-rushers who overran Mexican settlements; Salomon Maria Simeon Pico, a highwayman who was part villain, part Robin Hood; and Jose Maria Avila, a bandit and passionate Mexican revolutionary.

Zorro first appeared in McCulley's serialized novel "The Curse of the Capistrano." Soon thereafter, the black-masked avenger became a screen legend when Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., portrayed him in the 1920 silent film The Mark of Zorro. Two decades later, Tyrone Power starred in a successful remake of The Mark of Zorro with Basil Rathbone and Linda Darnell. Republic Pictures also featured the character in five 12-chapter film serials beginning with Zorro Rides Again in 1937. In 1957, Walt Disney introduced the Zorro television series, starring Guy Williams, which became one of the most popular shows of the Golden Age of Television. In 1975, French actor Alain Delon appeared as the famous masked swordsman in another big screen adaptatio

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